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NATO probes weekend copter crash

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter lands on Forward Operating Base Joyce in Kunar province, Afghanistan, March 9, 2011.

A CH-47 Chinook helicopter lands on Forward Operating Base Joyce in Kunar province, Afghanistan, March 9, 2011.

  • No casualties are reported
  • A NATO spokesman says an investigation is underway over Saturday’s fatal crash
  • The crash site has been cordoned off

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — NATO says one of its helicopters made a hard landing Monday in southeastern Afghanistan, just two days after a deadly chopper crash killed dozens of American special forces and raised broader questions about stability in the region.

The Navy transport helicopter went down in Paktika province, though “initial reporting indicated there was no enemy activity,” according to a NATO statement

No casualties were reported.

Meanwhile, NATO spokesman Brigadier Gen. Cartsen Jacobsen said the crash site from Saturday in Wardak province had been cordoned off as recovery efforts continued.

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An investigation is underway, he said.

“The recent fighting season has not materialized as the insurgents had predicted,” Jacobsen told reporters in Kabul. “But the insurgents are resilient and far from defeated.”

He said there was no indication of newer, more sophisticated weapons, responding to rumors that Taliban insurgents may had been better equipped during the incident.

Saturday’s crash would represent the second downed NATO helicopter by insurgent fire in recent weeks, though the International Security Assistance Force has not confirmed the cause of the crash.

Afghan officials say the CH-47 Chinook helicopter went down after it came under heavy fire and a rocket-propelled grenade attack from insurgents in the area.

The helicopter was carrying 38 people, including 30 Americans, the majority of whom were U.S. special forces.

Twenty-two Navy SEALs were aboard and were among those killed, according to U.S. military officials.

On Monday, more than 100 demonstrators in Ghazni province protested what they say is the killing of two people during a NATO raid, according to provincial council chief Hamid Ullah Nawroz.

ISAF spokesman Capt. Justin Brockhoff confirmed that there was a joint Afghan-NATO raid late Sunday evening in the area that killed two insurgents, uncovered a munitions cache and detained “numerous suspected insurgents.”

CNN’s Barbara Starr contributed to this report


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